- The Washington Times - Friday, March 24, 2006

Nobles: The high school and college students who chose to sidestep the party to help the country.

For many students with a full week to kill, this year wasn’t your typical spring break mayhem of booze and debauchery. Instead, thousands decided to spend their vacation time by heading down to the still-ravaged Gulf Coast region to volunteer their youthful energy in whatever capacity they could. Often that meant cleaning out formerly flooded buildings and helping build new ones for those whose homes remain a pile of rubble.

Accurate numbers are hard to come by, but one estimate is that more than 700 students from 85 schools in 27 states were there this week, according to the Associated Press. “A lot of my friends were going to Florida and South Padre, Mexico,” said one university student hauling home debris. “But I knew it was bad here and that people needed help. I’m really happy I came.”

Many students came through programs sponsored by aid organizations like Habitat for Humanity and Catholic Charities. Others took advantage of their school’s offering of course-credit, like Duke University, which sent 130 students to New Orleans and 70 to the Mississippi coast. However they got there, it’s a statement on the quality of the nation’s youth, who are decidedly acting well above their age.

For their compassion and civic spirit, the students on the Gulf Coast are the Nobles of the week.

Knaves: The Christian Peacemaker Teams, whose lack of appreciation is matched only by their lack of conviction.

In a daring dawn rescue Thursday, U.S. and British forces stormed a building in western Baghdad where three CPT volunteers had been held captive since Nov. 26. A fourth, Tom Fox of Clear Brook, Va., had been found dead a few weeks earlier. The “peace” activists had gone into Iraq to protest the “illegal occupation of Iraq by Multinational forces.”

So it was with no small amount of irony that those same forces came to their rescue. One would think that such selfless sacrifice would be grudgingly acknowledged by their rescuees. Yet CPT initially gave nary a word of appreciation.

As word spread of their snub, CPT released an “addendum” to its earlier announcement which explained that they were “so overwhelmed and overjoyed” to have their friends freed that they just plumb forgot to say thank you. Now they want everyone to know that they are “grateful” and “thankful” to the soldiers who risked their lives.

For their un-Christian response, the Christian Peacemaker Teams are the Knaves of the week.

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